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How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Kind of the Story of My Life
Written by: Scott Adams
Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Blasting clichéd career advice, the contrarian pundit and creator of Dilbert recounts the humorous ups and downs of his career, revealing the outsized role of luck in our lives and how best to play the system.

Scott Adams has likely failed at more things than anyone you’ve ever met or anyone you’ve even heard of. So how did he go from hapless office worker and serial failure to the creator of Dilbert, one of the world’s most famous syndicated comic strips, in just a few years? In How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Adams shares the game plan he’s followed since he was a teen: invite failure in, embrace it, then pick its pocket.

No career guide can offer advice that works for everyone. As Adams explains, your best bet is to study the ways of others who made it big and try to glean some tricks and strategies that make sense for you. Adams pulls back the covers on his own unusual life and shares how he turned one failure after another - including his corporate career, his inventions, his investments, and his two restaurants - into something good and lasting. There’s a lot to learn from his personal story, and a lot of entertainment along the way. Adams discovered some unlikely truths that helped to propel him forward. For instance:

  • Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners.
  • "Passion" is bull. What you need is personal energy.
  • A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable.
  • You can manage your odds in a way that makes you look lucky to others.

Adams hopes you can laugh at his failures while discovering some unique and helpful ideas on your own path to personal victory. As he writes: "This is a story of one person’s unlikely success within the context of scores of embarrassing failures. Was my eventual success primarily a result of talent, luck, hard work, or an accidental just-right balance of each? All I know for sure is that I pursued a conscious strategy of managing my opportunities in a way that would make it easier for luck to find me."

©2013 Scott Adams (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Adams has a funny, refreshingly considered set of ideas about how to find success - and what that success will look like when one gets there." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Scott Adams has drawn nearly 9,000 Dilbert cartoons since the strip began, in 1989, and his cynical take on management ideas, the effectiveness of bosses, and cubicle life has affected the worldview of millions. But he built his successful career mainly through trial and error - a whole lot of error, to be exact." (Harvard Business Review)

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good one with some bragging by the author

good one with some bragging by the author.
i waited long time to get the audio version of this bookin india,so finally i completed it .

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A very different view to looking at Life

We've all grown up believing certain myths passed over by our parents and friends who have seem to have known and seen it all. Scott helps us to look at life and situations very differently and assures us that it's ok to take risks in life.. Ultimately when you look back you realise it was worth every risk taken. A must read!

1 person found this helpful

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<br />Engaging and enlightening

Loved every bit of this. The author tells the story of his life while weaving lessons from his failed ventures and bad decisions into the narrative. His advice is simple and he examples from his own daily life.

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Focus on 'System' over Goals!

Nicely structured into ideal bits of chapter length. Provides fresh approach to structure one's life.

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Enjoyed this book very much

Enjoyed this book very much. it has small nuggets of wisdom that you can apply from the day one. i follow the empirical method trying and testing stuff. therefore I was able to relate to the story of Scott Adams

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  • Teancum144
  • 22-02-20

Best Audiobook I've Ever Read

Entertaining, funny, and profoundly insightful!! Superb narration! I wish I'd read this 20 years ago because I'd likely be more successful. First audiobook I'll read over and over again -- it's that good!! Highly recommend!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Andy P.
  • 13-02-20

A personal testimony of the value of striving

After enjoying LoserThink, I thought I'd read this earlier book, and my biggest disappointment is that Adams didn't narrate it himself. Adams can't help but write in a highly personal way, so when it's someone else's voice, it's a jarring experience.

What you have to love about Adams, even when you might now agree with him, is his honesty. The book is essentially a biography. He's like an old relative telling you about his life, and it's been an interesting life from which we can take two main points. Persistence make it easier for luck to find you. Generalization makes it easier to exploit your opportunities when you get them. Of course, like any old relative, there are the quirks and the obsessions, which while probably not good advice, reflects the reality that successful folks have their own flaws, just like you do.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-02-20

Obvious until you hear it

The book was easy to listen to, was funny, and informative. A lot of the concepts are practical and it makes sense that they propel success once you hear it. Great life advice.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brandon Parker
  • 02-12-19

Crunchy Tips You Can Use Today

I love books that suggest specific tips and tactics. this book changed my routine. I'm closer to certified gangster after reading it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-06-20

Simply worth your time

Another thought provoking, entertaining , uplifting story told from the eyes of a funny guy.

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  • colleen mc donald
  • 22-06-20

advice from Dilbert's Author

question: has some good tips but also contains some overly long chapters, especially for an audiobook.

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  • Scott D Galbiati
  • 13-06-20

Excellent listen. Highly recommended There is a b

There is a better than 0% chance that you will listen to this book and take something from it and improve your life. Excellent listen. Highly recommended

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  • Jill
  • 04-05-20

liked it a lot

this book is entertaining and thought provoking, I particularly liked his observations on diet and exercise

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  • Andy Solis
  • 30-03-20

self help anyone can understand and use

I am reading for the second time and have bought for a few people I think could use it

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  • Warren Harper
  • 02-03-20

Fun and Impactful

I found this book fun, thought provoking, and impactful, addressing how to "Win Big" in lots of areas of life (happiness, health, financial, career, relationships, etc.).

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-05-20

Outstanding

I came across the Title of this Book awhile ago but only recently had a chance to sit down and take it in. This is a Brilliant and 'must listen to' for ANYONE that seeks to get the most out of themselves.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-04-20

Recommended!

I really liked it, many good ideas and ovelall approach. Only surprisingly a lot of coffee advertising, and coffee I think is the last thing on earth that needs extra marketing

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  • Joz
  • 23-03-20

great read

Enjoyed this book and will be putting some new systems in place going forward. highly recommend.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-20

Refreshing and powerful

Masterfully executed and brilliantly articulated. I realise how little I understand elements of life which I can't explain simply. Scott Adams keeps it simple.

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  • DarkKnight
  • 20-01-20

Excellent

A brilliant book that is well written, practical and engaging. Well worth the listen, even more than once.

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  • Peter ayeni
  • 09-01-20

Definitely worth listening to/reading

Brilliantly written, isn’t pretentious and offers a simplified perspective on life.
Increase your odds of winning by listening/reading this book.

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  • James
  • 08-03-20

A Must Read For Everyone!

If you're considering reading this book - DO IT!
Scott Adams is my favourite thinker in that he calms me down, cheers me up and challenges to me think differently.
My only complaint is that Scott doesn't read this book himself. The reader does a pretty good job, but Scott is a professional public speaker and explains things brilliantly himself - please re-record this book yourself Scott!

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  • Van
  • 02-04-20

Great little story.

He doesn't claim to be an expert it's a really light and funny story with some simple messages about success.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-01-20

good

exceptionally narrated . self help books sprinkled with good humour . some good concepts and ideas